David Reed doesn't mince his words when it comes to playing for the University of Utah.

The record-setting wide receiver, who caught 111 passes in 10 games for Pasadena City College last season, is a walking, talking endorsement for Ute football.

"It's great. I love every bit of it. I love everything. I love the team. I love the offense. I love the coaches. I love the facilities — everything," said Reed, a junior college All-American.

"I'm so happy to be here. It's the best part of my life right here. I'm very happy to be here."

Reed didn't join the team until camp began last Monday. He had academic requirements to complete over the summer before transferring to Utah, causing him to miss the offseason conditioning program and opportunity to get more familiar with the Utes' offense.

"I definitely wish I was here," Reed said. "But I can't really dwell on that."

It is what it is. Even so, Reed and the coaching staff are confident things will work out just fine.

"It's just a matter of getting him in shape and getting him exposed to the scheme," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "He's got to learn first. We've got to give him certain parts to the scheme on a day-to-day basis. He's not going to get it all at once. We've just got to implement that on a day-to-day basis."

After four days of camp, it's working. Progress is being made.

Whittingham said Reed is getting better each day and making quite an impression.

"He's as advertised. He caught 111 balls in junior college and it's easy to see why when you watch him operate out here," said Whittingham, who noted that Reed is very smooth, an athletic route runner and a nice set of hands.

Reed, a former Connecticut prep star, credits the coaches and players for helping him make a smooth transition to Utah.

"They're working with me real good. (Receivers) coach (Aaron) Roderick is doing a good job showing me and teaching me a lot of stuff," Reed said. "I'm studying hard. Every night I read the playbook. The other receivers are helping me. Everybody is helping me."

Reed believes he's in the right place at the right time.

"It's the best situation for me. I've got Brian Johnson and a bunch of great guys around me," he said. "There isn't any better place for me than Utah."

As an added bonus, Reed added, the season opener at Michigan will provide national exposure that will allow his family and friends, who are scattered from Connecticut, Iowa and California, an opportunity to see him play.

If his junior college career is any indication, Reed is capable of putting on quite a show. He was named Pasadena City College's Offensive Player of the Year after breaking every game and career receiving record at the school.

"My coach back there in junior college, he had a lot of faith in me and he gave me the opportunity to do well and I stepped up," Reed said. "I was very fortunate — very, very fortunate."

The 6-foot, 184-pound junior downplays his 111 receptions (a national junior college record) last season. The catches accounted for an average of 166.1 yards per game.

"I ran a lot of screens and stuff," Reed said. "So that's a big part of that."

Now, Reed's expected to be a big part of things at Utah — cracking the depth chart as soon as he arrived on campus. It's an opportunity that is relished.

"This is the best place for me," Reed said. "There's no other place for me but Utah."

Reed and Aiona Key, another highly touted junior college transfer, add talent and depth to a receiving corps that includes returning veterans Bradon Godfrey, Freddie Brown, Brent Casteel, Jereme Brooks and Elijah Wesson.

Camp central

Utah

First down: The Utes completed the NCAA's acclimatization period Thursday and will don full pads in a single practice this morning.

The first double session of camp is set for Saturday.

Head-turner: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said some newcomers are beginning to emerge and make their presence felt. He praised the play of wide receiver David Reed, defensive back Damilyn Tanner and tight end Brad Clifford after Thursday's practice. Whittingham also noted that the running back group continues to be a strength.

Injury report: Nothing new. Tight end Neli A'asa had a successful scope on his sore knee and will be sidelined until Monday, Aug. 18.

Whittingham said there were no surprises and everything went well.


E-mail: dirk@desnews.com